Often described as a cross between squash and tennis, paddle tennis (or “padel”) is a fast-paced and highly social sport that is suitable for everyone. It is also very easy to learn.
Paddle tennis is a simple sport that doesn’t require lots of accessories. It simply requires a partner, a ball, and two rackets.
In the great Pickleball vs Paddle Tennis debate, there is no clear winner as both sports offer a fun, sociable experience for people of all ages.
If you want to learn more about the rules, we’ve covered everything you need to know about paddle tennis in this article.
The Court and Equipment
Paddle tennis is played on an enclosed court that is usually 20m x 10m. It features a net in the middle that divides the court, yet it is also surrounded by walls. This often provides a playing advantage for players during a game.
The surface of the court is usually either made from synthetic materials, cement, or even artificial grass. It also needs to be green, blue, or terracotta.
The racquets are also very different from tennis rackets as they are made using composite materials with a surface covered in small holes. As a result, they are ergonomically designed to allow for airflow.
Its overall length is 45cm with a face measuring 26cm x 29cm. As this piece of vital equipment is shorter than a tennis racquet, it allows for easier control.
The Object of the Game
Paddle tennis is typically played in doubles. It is also largely concerned with strategy and cooperation between you and your partner, instead of power.
The main objective of paddle tennis is to win two of three sets that make up a match. By doing this, every pairing must work coherently as a team to outplay their opposition.
The court for paddle tennis is enclosed and a lot smaller than a traditional game of tennis, as we have established above. This means that players are forced to be closer together during the fast-paced game.
Though the court is smaller, players still need to have decent fitness levels to properly attack this game. In fact, good fitness levels are a key component of a successful paddle tennis pair!
The Main Rules of Paddle Tennis
There are a couple of main rules for a game of paddle tennis. We’ve outlined these below.
- Paddle tennis games must be played between two playing pairs while using regulation racquets.
- Before a match begins, a coin is tossed. The winner can choose whether they want to be the first to serve, and can even choose to start on their preferred end of the paddle tennis court.
- Each match starts with an underarm serve which must venture diagonally into the opponent’s court. The ball must bounce below hip height and on the ground.
- Games of paddle tennis are made up of three sets, with each set consisting of six games. The winners of two of the three sets will win the overall paddle tennis match.
- During a game, both teams must aim to score far more points than their opposition.
- The opposition will obtain a point if:
- The ball either strikes you or your teammate.
- The ball bounces twice on the ground on the opponent’s side.
- An opponent hits the ball into their grid.
- The ball hits wire fencing or a different fixture before going into the opponent’s court or over the net. This is classed as out of bounds.
Scoring in paddle tennis is almost identical to tennis. This means that the points go up in the following sequence: 15, 30, 40, and game. If a tie occurs on 40 – 40 this is called deuce. The winner is the first player that manages to lead by two points.
To win a set, a paddle tennis pairing must win six games with two clear games. If the score ends up as 6-6 it results in a tiebreak. This is played where the winner is the first side to get to seven points with two clear points.
If the game remains tied, another tiebreak will be played where the first side to obtain a two-game lead will be declared the winner. The first pair with a two-set win will become the winner.
These are all of the rules of paddle tennis! After reading this article, we hope you now fully understand how to play paddle tennis and how you can succeed with your partner the next time you play this game.